Some degree of anxiety is normal during pregnancy and when you are a new parent figuring things out. If you are experiencing overwhelming anxiety this can affect your ability to enjoy your pregnancy, bond with your baby, share the experience with your partner, and impact your health by raising your blood pressure.
The risk of developing an anxiety disorder is greater if anxiety has been a problem for you in the past. Perfectionism is a predisposing factor, characterized by a strong drive to be perfect – to have a perfect nursery, the perfect birth experience, or to always be calm and patient with your children. Trying to be Super-mom or Super-dad, and imagining dire consequences if you are “not” is a set up to be anxious parents with anxious children, never feeling “good enough.”
Common symptoms are:
- Panic attacks
Post-traumatic stress symptoms may include racing heart, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, a feeling of choking, chest pain, nausea, and fear of losing control or going crazy.